Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Unexpected Music Lesson
There is a bowl gong from India that I have that was given to me by a dear friend years ago. I've never liked the tone of this particular gong but kept this present as a reminder of my friend. Tonight I saw him, perhaps for the final time as he is making his peace with a terminal illness. We laughed, we cried, we hugged, and I did not want to leave him.
I came home and thought of his poor mother. She is loosing her son, a great son. I can not fathom the depths of her pain. I improvised a bit, looking to settle in with my guitar. I attempted Gathered Hearts with the wish to send this piece to him and his wife, but my emotions were in the way of my playing. Then I thought of his mother again and played Matka Boska for her, his wonderful blessed mother. Still my playing was sloppy but my heart was there. At the end I found two chords and followed where they led. Perhaps a piece for my friend, or perhaps a way to channel my emotions and play my guitar. Time will tell on this, provided life allows me another day to play.
After I put away my guitar I saw the bowl gong on the shelf and took it in my hand. I invited this gong to sound once and then on the second invitation I heard the beauty of this instrument. The shape is different from the other bowl gongs I have known and my past efforts to sound this one did not take the difference into account. Enchanted by the beauty that has been in my basement for years, patiently waiting for me to find her tone. Mesmerized I played with this gong, hearing her voice for the first time. Wondering how many times in my life do I take the same approach to a person that has worked with similar persons in the past. When what I need is to be present to their unique qualities and subtle differences to allow them to flourish.
What a music lesson, the music of life, this visit has been.